Districts in Civ VII

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Park Hyun, Jun 8, 2021.

  1. Park Hyun

    Park Hyun Chieftain

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    In another thread, the topic of districts came up, with several people agreeing with me in feeling that districts are a cool idea that need improvement. They tend to sprawl out in ways that make the map feel too tight and too small, and often don't result in aesthetically interesting or realistic cities. I'd like to present my idea for a re-do of districts, but also hear whatever ideas other civ fans have for improvement.

    Bottom line: Incorporate non-specialty district buildings into specialty districts.

    My approach would create two different lines of buildings:
    DIRECT______________INDIRECT
    Science______________ Financial
    Faith_________________Growth
    Culture_______________Housing
    Diplomacy____________Happiness
    Military_______________Loyalty

    Each districts gets four slots. A slot can hold a building, either removable (e.g. libraries), or permanent (wonders). Two slots are reserved for direct buildings (which contribute to a victory type). One slot is reserved for indirect buildings or wonders, and one is a free slot, which can be used for anything.

    Each building contributes a different kind of bonus. For example, Financial buildings either generate Gold (a bank), an additional trade route (a market), or Great Merchant points (the stock market). Science buildings could generate bonus science (a library), bonus Great Scientist points (a university), or specialist slots (the research center).

    Districts are built next to a city center. They get no terrain bonuses and cannot have identical buildings. Harbors and naval buildings are built in the city center (making coastal cities valuable again).

    Example: FDR settles Los Angeles. He builds two districts, one culture and one military. In the culture district, he creates a theater (bonus culture), a museum (bonus Great Artist points), an aqueduct (speeding growth), and uses the free spot to add a film studio (bonus tourism, culture). In the military district, he adds a barracks (faster recruitment), workshop (production), neighborhood (more housing), and builds the Alhambra wonder (which can only be built in a Military district).

    The benefits: Cities are tighter and more aesthetically pleasing. Wonders don't take up whole tiles but stand out more than they did in Civ V. Players are faced with interesting choices in how they want to arrange their cities. Designers have more options for civ-specific bonuses (e.g. Germany gets an extra free spot) or mini-games (e.g. a wonder requires three specific buildings in the district, or certain combos provide additional bonuses). Players can specialize cities further (want a trading city with markets in all districts - go for it!).

    What do you think? What would you do with districts?

    Moderator Action: Moved to Ideas & Suggestions. ~ LK
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2021
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  2. Ryansinbela

    Ryansinbela Prince

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    very nice, everyone agrees
     
  3. Codeword Iroquois

    Codeword Iroquois Warlord

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    I'd kinda personally been playing with the concept of collapsing tiles into the big tiles, so one settles on the big tile, which then has seven spaces for districts, resource extractions, and wonders, and could expand to adjacent tiles as the game goes on.
     
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  4. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    Yeah, more or less something like that.
     
  5. Alexander's Hetaroi

    Alexander's Hetaroi Deity

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    My idea is that when you build districts, instead of taking up a tile outside of your city center, districts could go into separate tiles inside of your city center as well as wonders. That way most of your tiles outside of the city center would be used for improvements such as farms and mines etc.

    Some districts would have to be built outside the city center such as military encampments, aerodrome, and probably neighborhoods.

    I'd also like buildings to be more flexible and not as rigid. Some commercial hubs could have a market for gold and some could have a caravanserai instead for more trader capacity.
     
  6. Lonecat Nekophrodite

    Lonecat Nekophrodite Emperor

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    My ideas is that Districts that made to build specific unit types should have each of their own project slot in addition to city center project slot.
     
  7. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    I've been playing around with a new 'District' concept for some time now, incorporating and decorporating various ideas from other posts and thread, the Humankind 'Quarters', some recent studies of how ancient/classical/medieval cities developed, etc.

    At the moment, here's where my ideas are:

    1. A City may incorporate numerous smaller towns as 'Districts', but to be a visual depiction of a city, for at least the first half of the game all the parts of the city must be together in a tight mass, with the minimal 'footprint' on the game map. The size of every ancient to Early Modern (Renaissance) city was strictly limited by transportation technology, and for most cities that meant horse-drawn carts, sedan chairs or Human Foot - if the average city-dweller couldn't walk across the city in an afternoon, the city was simply too big for every citizen to get access to everything the city had to offer. That means that Transportation Technology has to be incorporated into the adjacency and placement of Districts throughout the game.

    2. The Civ VI pattern (and to a somewhat lesser extent the Humankind pattern) of specific and strictly defined Districts is artificial. The concept of each city having only one of each kind of District in most cases is also artificial. The idea that adjacency bonuses are almost all terrain-based and apply to Districts results in the scattering of Districts and artificial adjacencies that simply don't apply IRL. Anybody notice how many real University 'Districts' are poorly placed nowhere near any mountains? Why didn't Harvard realize that it needed to be nestled in the White Mountains of Vermont to be a really great University?

    3. From the beginning, Cities were 'fed' all sorts of materials from a distance - satellite settlements, towns, hamlets, villages containing mines, farms, 'plantations', etc that were not physically connected or adjacent to any city, but provided needed 'goods and services' - and this has been going on since the settlements at Arslantepe and Hacinebi were mining and smelting Copper for the 'first city' of Uruch in 3700 BCE! That means that the current pattern of City - Country with no other possible population point on the map is False and needs to change. Humankind does it by allowing certain Quarters that are in the same Region but not necessarily adjacent to the city and provide Resources or bonuses to the city: Civ needs something similar.

    So, with those thoughts as my (current) basis, here are my current 'solutions/suggestions':

    1. Aside from the City Center District, which has to have some kind of Administrative Center/Building in it, ALL Districts are generic: what character they assume is based entirely on what Buildings/Infrastructure are constructed in them.
    2. All Districts have 5 'slots' for Buildings/Infrastructure. Not all Buildings take up 1 Slot: especially later in the game, things like Factories may take up 3 or 4 slots. Most Buildings are associated with one of the Victory Condition 'currencies' in the game: Industry, Military, Commerce, Religion, Science, Trade, etc. ALL adjacency bonuses are applied to Buildings, not Districts. Thus, 'grouping' Buildings of a similar type into 'Commercial' Districts or 'Religious Quarters' makes sense - it increases the adjacencies they will provide to each other. For adjacency, in some cases being in a neighboring District works almost as well as being in the same District, which also encourages grouping into 'specific' Districts.
    3. ALL Districts in a city must be adjacent to another District and trace a 'district path' to the City Center. At the beginning of the game, that path is only 1 District long - in other words, a Starting City can cover 7 tiles - a City Center and 6 adjacent tiles around it. Transportation Technology will increase that 'radius' later in the game, until by the Modern Era it becomes virtually Unlimited (enter the Megalopolis). Some special circumstances allow more 'sprawling' cities early in the game: from the start, you can extend up or down a navigable river (no waterfalls!) by 1 or more tiles (as boats improve), same applies to canals and coast. There is also a Special Infrastructure which can be built in any District, taking up 1 Slot, called a Processional Way (later Grand Boulevard), which, if the Way extends to the edge of the City Center, can from the start extend the city by 1 tile of Way - allowing an extra tile of District at the expense of 1 Slot in each of 2 Districts leading back to the City Center - a distance which will grow later.
    4. Settlements are specialized Districts not adjacent to the City Center. A Settlement also has 5 Slots, but one must always be an Administrative Center (Governor's Palace, Chief's Hut, etc) and the others can hold Mines, Farms, Plantations or other extractive Improvements over resources - including Trading Posts to extend Trade Routes or military garrisons ('Forts') which can extend your borders. In other words, Settlements are the Smaller Than City collections of people that can extract the resources that the city needs and extend the borders of your Civ. Which city gets the 'bonuses' from a Settlement depends initially on which city provided the Builders that built the Settlement (requires 2 charges: 1 for the Settlement 'District' and one for the initial Improvement in it that gives it a Reason For Existence: mine, plantation, farm, harbor, fort, trading post, camp, etc) but that can be changed later. Eventually, most Settlements will probably be absorbed by expanding cities, but for most that will not happen until the late Modern Ages of the game.
    5. Wonders may also be built in Districts. Each Wonder will have, as now, Placement Criteria, and sometimes that will include getting the maximum benefit from the Wonder by placing it as close to the City Center or Processional Way as possible. Think about it: where else are you going to put a major Temple or Cathedral? Except for Wonders, any Building can be Replaced. In fact, many early Buildings will need to be replaced by later, more powerful and influential Buildings of the same type: the Ancient Era Pottery Workshop has little place in the Industrial Age when a Pottery Factory or Machine Shop can be built for more Production and other Bonuses, and a Classical Marketplace may be appropriate right up through the Early Modern Era, but becomes redundant when Shopping Centers become available in the Modern/Atomic Eras.
    Ideally, the City should never be a static Thing, but in a constant state of rebuilding and upgrading both internally as Districts change their character, and externally as Transportation technology allows expansion of the city's 'footprint' on the game map.
     
  8. ColdClimate

    ColdClimate Prince

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    I'd tend to agree with Boris: make districts (or whatever you want to call them) generic but flavor them with buildings and/or wonders. I would also tend to think of them as villages or minor cities rather than suburbs. I wouldn't mind keeping some adjacency bonuses, particularly for improvements (mines or farms for eg) as long as its balanced.

    I might also give them a culture bomb when they are constructed to make them a major driver of territory expansion. If you think of them as settlements it makes, or at least more than your local theatre expanding your borders...
     
  9. BuchiTaton

    BuchiTaton Warlord

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    Still some mesoamerican cities were more populous and bigger than most of their european contemporaries, so if transport tech have something to do with this then the real change should be just until industrial revolution, not before. In any case HEALTH infrastructure should be a bigger factor, Mesoamerican cities are know by their organized city planning and health infrastructure.


    6 slots by distric would be more intuitive since the tiles are hexagons.

    Fit with the recent historical notion of "progress" because from the perpective of efficiency is the better to do, BUT it should be an alternative not a must. For example old traditional/rustic building should have less environmental impact and provide cultural (turism included) bonus, of course at the cost of less of what their more industrial replacement do.
     
  10. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    It's certainly not impossible to have a MegaCity early in the game: the various Chinese Dynastic capitals, Rome, Babylon (which may have been the first city in Human history to approach 1,000,000 inhabitants). Tenochtlan all spring to mind. But it should take some real effort, and as you say that effort will include major Health infrastructure as well as siply providing food and water.

    My original idea was to keep an uneven number of 'slots' so that a District could get bonuses from having a majority of Buildings of a given Type: Religious, Commercial, Military, Cultural, etc. Since then I've come around to the idea of having many buildings, even early in the game, take more than one Slot (like, for example, an Imperial Palace designating your Capital - most of those were not, by their nature, small and unassuming structures) and including 'neutral' infrastructure like the Processional Way (Grand Boulevard) - or, for example, a Canal to extend the 'reach' of the city.
    So I am definitely open to a 6-slot tile.

    I want to include an 'Aesthetic' component to Civ VII cities: the possibility that your city should look unique and pleasing as well as efficient in game terms. Part of that comes from playing Humankind Open Devs recently, and picking up the Anno 1800 game last month, both of which emphasize what can be done with City Graphics far better than Civ VI does.
    So, for certain, I'd like to see Tourism and/or Cultural bonuses from older Buildings retained in the city: the quaint old Marketplace, the treasured historic Castle or Rezidence near the city center, the line of the original City Walls now turned into a strip of parkland around the city - there are a host of potential graphic and gameplay possibilities that I would like to explore and see explored to add an additional spark to our city building.

    After all, from its beginning the Civilization franchise has been all about bulding Cities - we might as well have a chance to make not only Great Cities (size, factors) but also good-looking ones.
     
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  11. Timewarp

    Timewarp Chieftain

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    These are GREAT ideas :) I like the fact that city / district design is being influenced by what we know of cities in human history.
     
  12. Problemedical

    Problemedical Chieftain

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    Hello there! I totally enjoyed the ideas laid out in this thread, especially ties to real human history. Please allow me to summarize and expand on points I liked the most and also add some new ones.
    1. Getting rid of artificial terrain-based adjacency bonuses for most districts. I love this, it makes so much sense. Trade districts should retain their river adjacency bonuses, industial districts benefiting from mines also makes sense.
    2. Districts evolving from land improvements. Had this idea while playing Civ 5 and Endless Legend, even before Civ 6 came out and introduced its Districts. You've built a triange of farms? Place an Agricultural distirct on top of 'em for some extra yields. Same with mines and quarries. Generic tier 1 districts can even work as a resource improvements, like they do in Endless Legend. This way you can incorporate resourses in your city and develop them without either having either to harvest/remove a resourse to place a district in its place (drop F for every Stone I've sacrifised to get a good Campus) or to spread out disconnected districts like some kind of a pulverised amoeba.
    3. Multiple slots for buildings and wonders in districts. It's so good that I'm a bit said because it wasn't me who came up with this.
    4. Dynamic tier-structired districts. I have also loved the idea that "1 city - 1 district of each type" has to go, but building five identical Campuses on 5 tiles just feels out of zone. How about you get to upgrade your district instead of building a different one. If you eant a science-specialized city with your own Silicon Valley, you probably don't need Commercial Hub or Theatre Square. FOr example, let districts have 4 Tiers, each Tiers granting an increased number of slots (say, from 2/1 for building and wonders respectfully for Tier 1 district to 6/3 for Tier 4 district). Make Tier 4 buildable only with special stuff, like a promoted Governor, or a Great Person. Give districts different bonuses both for stacking identical buildings in adjacent slots and for combining different buildings.
    5. Distance from districts to city centre dependent on technology level. Marvelous, love it. I would love to have more compact and hence more aesthetically pleasing cities.
    6. Settlements and Outposts. Also a great idea. The only district that benefits from being far from city centre. An amalgamation of Neighbourhood and Encampment, it's your ideal choice to contol terriories and benefit from resourses on terrain not worth of an entire new city. It can start off as a generic one-tile district with walls and one-tile radius around it, later growing to incorporate adjacent resourses. You can allocate citizens from the closest city to it to make it grow faster. They can come in different flavours: Forts, Trade Posts, Villages etc.
     
  13. aieeegrunt

    aieeegrunt King

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    We are slowly but surely re inventing Civ4
     
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  14. eduhum

    eduhum Aahh the gold old days...

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    Districts only make sense as a form of playing with terrain adjacency bonuses. Why would you want districts in the same tile?
    Just remove districts altogether.
    To be honest, i never liked districts anyways. They de-geographyse the game, make it arcade-ish.
    I don't like districts and i don't like enourmous cities (map wise) a la Humankind.
    I hope Civ7 has cities very small (like Total War, as in map size, graphically speaking), with vast expanses and tracts of land to go through.
     
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  15. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    Interesting, because you bring up where both Civ VI and Humankind 'get' Districts/Quarters wrong. First, of course, all of them are grossly out of scale at the beginning, when early cities averaged less than 10,000 people (Ancient/Classical/Medieval Eras) and could be walked around in an afternoon: a one-tile city is still almost Too Big to represent these!
    On the other hand, almost everything on the map is grossly out of scale, from trees to hills to units to buildings, so, frankly, this is not a serious consideration: the most important thing is to convey information, and realistically-sized terrain/units/cities that are too small to show are a waste of graphics game-wise.

    In the late 20th century (Civ's Atomic and Information Eras, Humankind's Contemporary Age) we start seeing IRL, Megalopolises: cities of 10, 20 or more millions of people that spread` for 100s of square kilometers on the map, and urban 'sprawls' that merge cities into massive concentrations of people: The northeastern USA from Boston to Washington seen from space is an almost continuous river of artificial light because all the cities have effectively become one, and this is only one example: there are others in Europe, China, and Japan equally massive in population and concentration of production and political power.

    The huge collections of Quarters in Humankind nicely represent these, but they come much, much too early in the game: you can start sprawling Quarters across entire regions by the Medieval Age, and that just was not possible IRL: transportation and distribution technologies flatly did not allow it. Likewise, the scattered and disconnected Districts in Civ VI represent separate towns and settlements all, because no historical city consisted of separate and separated parts.

    So, yes, Districts and Quarters in both games have a lot of negatives about them. On the other hand in Civ VI at least, they allow you at a glance to tell what's in your city, on the game map, without looking up lists of Buildings and Structures somewhere to see what's what. Also, a one-tile-only city becomes simply inaccurate by the Industrial Era, when cities started using steam powered transportation to spread out across the map: the separate towns of Harlem, Brooklyn, and the Bronx all became incorporated into New York City by the early 20th century because, while they had been entirely separate geographical entities for over a century and a half, they had all grown into a single urban conglomerate - a multi-tile city, in game terms.

    I'd much rather see the game (either Humankind or Civ model) get Districts right, keep cities geographically compact in the first half of the game, but more accurately model the modern Urban Sprawl and the Industrial speciality of parts of the city (Business District, Industrial District, The Docks, etc) when they become technologically possible. That, I think, requires a multi-District city model. The alternative, I'm afraid, would be a game with multiple 'mini-maps' focusing on individual cities and their components, which rapidly becomes a focus for min-maxing and micromanaging away from the main game map. No thanx.
     
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  16. Problemedical

    Problemedical Chieftain

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    Those are by all means very interesting takes. I like the vastness and scale of Total War maps, and I too think they reflect the ancient world much more accurately. So the question is: how do we find some sort of middle-ground way to make the district mechanics make sense both history-wise and gameplay-wise, be accessible and enjoyable to use without stripping the Civ off of them alltogether?

    I'm thinking limiting direct city expansion via districts to industrial era or equivalent of it to reflect the historical transportation dependance. Most of the districts in Civ 6 would have to return to their Civ 5 place, i.e. being a collection of city centre buildings. As eduhum pointed out correctly, there is little point in having a generic science district outside of the main city if it doesn't have any terrain-based adjacency bonuses. The only districts that theoretically could work out well with this concept is the Encampment/Outpost district, an idea I outlined in my previous post, because the very reason for its existence is to be outside of the city to control the territory and resourses you need or to provide strategic aid for your military needs.

    But the situation changes from the Industrial era, where you, for example, get the ability to integrate adjacent tile improvements into your city by placing districts on top of them. This districts would be some sort of early version Neighbourhoods, in the way that they reflect the city getting too crowded for its inhabitants and therefore expanding territorially. This one district could have some sort of an "evolutionary tree", when you fill up a certain technology level-dependent number of building slots with buildings of either industrial, commercial or scientific/cultural kind. For example, you place a district in a riverside city, and you fill up it three standart slots with Factory, Docs and Refinery, effectively getting yourself an Industrial Zone. Later adjacent districts from different cities could merge, generating additional bonuses.
     
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  17. eduhum

    eduhum Aahh the gold old days...

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    All of this was field back in days
    It's true that modern urban sprawls can get huge, like the boston washington dc corridor.
    I hope the next Civ7 game (which anyways is probably in a late stage of the dev cycle so too late for us to make a dent in any case) has 25 tiles where there used to be 4 tiles.
    If you balance the attack defense power and range of iron and gunpowder units, you could create a metagame in which before gunpowder stacks of doom are preferable (and maybe also guerrilla tactics in some situations), but in the late game trench warfare could be organically modeled. So in large expanses and landscapes units end up sizing and blocking each other until a frontline forms a la Hearts of Iron 4.
    Also, i don't want each city to have maximum 5-10 farms, but more like 50 farms, which should be automatically generated (eliminate workers), and would make plunder much more realistic and dynamic.
     
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  18. BuchiTaton

    BuchiTaton Warlord

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    Would be nice if instead of separated improvements and "one use" tribal villages we could build proper VILLAGES that would produce x2 of the resource are built over but still could exploit the adjacent ones. They could be identified by the yields/resources it produce; farming village, mining village, lumber village, fishing village, etc.

    This villages could have three ooptions of development:
    - Keep their role as specialized or multy yield tiles. At late game they would be less productive that urban districts but would have cultural bonus and less enviromental impact.
    - You can invest in many upgrades to the point it can turn on their own city.
    - Starting with industrialization cities would grow with urban districts, when a village is adjacent or said just one tile from the urban district it gain a cost reduction to turn the village (or the adjacent tiles) on more urban districts.

    By the way the tribal villages would be like "mini" city states, with some cultural identity (any other village would have also their identity) and some bonus related to that cultural identity.
     
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  19. aieeegrunt

    aieeegrunt King

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    I love how many of these threads end up re inventing Civ4

    I’d like to see the concept of tile improvements and districts merged. A tile can have a farm, to which you can then add things like windmills or fertilizer plants or irrigation systems depending on what techs you have that makes food, similar to the way a campus can have a library, university etc that makes beakers
     
  20. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    I too. While there was often too much space in Civ5, now it's the contrary with Civ6. There is districts, wonders obviously, but i have a feeling that the population growth and production "upgrades" cost much more, hence having poor production and poor growth in many cities. These would require a whip of farms triangle or more, *and* a good range of hills in a least 1/4 of their territory. It's rarely the case. [FEEL LESS CRAPPY AND CRAWLING]

    On top of that, farms are much more less favoured by the players, to a point it's ridiculous and not historical at all. [REALISM]

    It's much more ugly too. I mean no, but farms are beautiful IMO. What is ugly are mines. That could represent a good industrialisation, don't get me wrong, but not before the industrial era. And while I'm at it, smoke should be in cities, not countries. (or isolated, for example a single hill smoking circled with beautiful farms. Like sugar plants or something. (they stink miles around) But smoke in earlier eras should be limited to local forges (villages or nearby, more often in forests) and camp fires. (so be discreat) [EYE CANDY, FRENCH GARDEN, AND REALISM TOO]

    I'd say campus ans such could be built on top of farms and such, with both yields.
    As to adjacency bonuses... scrap mountain science adj. bon. totally, it's silly. Instead, make science districts adj. bon. only with other disctricts and cities. (+1 each)
    Commercial hubs bonus with rivers makes sense though. As to industrial, same thing : bonus with other districts and cities.
    That way, we would have massive megalopolis surrounded by farms and villages.
    Maybe adapt the zoom so that a village takes a tiny portion of a tile, and can provide food from farms in the same time. The more the village grows, the more room it take in the tile and the less food this tile can provide. Cities or villages in adjacent tiles can merge up that way. Not sure if districts themselves could grow to a size of a city ? (unless they are considered more like embryos of cities)
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2021

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